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For the last time, the NBA Draft Lottery is not rigged.
Wednesday , Jun , 01 , 2011 J.N.

For the last time, the NBA Draft Lottery is not rigged.

This comes up before every lottery. What’s the big deal? Of course the blasted thing is rigged! Those men in nice suits sitting there behind podiums are spending millions of dollars each year to field the best team they can put on. They have to appear at the lottery knowing that whole thing is rigged, right? You’re going to cite the Patrick Ewing lottery, eh? Please do not. That has been done over and over. Realize that if your team is in the lottery, they suck and need help.

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Wednesday , Jun , 01 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kareem disagrees with Scottie Pippen’s view that LeBron ‘may be greatest ever’

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Scottie Pippen, what have you done?

The greatest wing-man in NBA history has started drama with his ‘LeBron may be the greatest player' ever comment.

This, of course, is great for the media. Today, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the greatest total scorer in NBA history, wrote an open letter taking issue with Pippen's comments.

While this isn’t a caps-locked tirade ala Dan Gilbert post The Decision, Kareem’s open-letter reminds Pippen to consider what he says before saying it and to pay greater (there's that word again) homage to the league's elders.

Mr. Skyhook also has a not-so subtle reminder for Pippen at the end of the letter. Gee, think Kareem feels his great career has been underappreciated?

Read Kareem's letter and tell us if you agree or disagree in the comment box below.

Dear Scottie,

I have nothing but respect for you my friend as an athlete and knowledgeable basketball mind. But you are way off in your assessment of who is the greatest player of all time and the greatest scorer of all time. Your comments are off because of your limited perspective. You obviously never saw Wilt Chamberlain play who undoubtedly was the greatest scorer this game has ever known. When did MJ ever average 50.4 points per game plus 25.7 rebounds? (Wilt in the 1962 season when blocked shot statistics were not kept). We will never accurately know how many shots Wilt blocked. Oh, by the way in 1967 and 68, Wilt was a league leader in assists. Did MJ ever score 100 points in a game? How many times did MJ score more than 60 points in a game? MJ led the league in scoring in consecutive seasons for 10 years but he did this in an NBA that eventually expanded into 30 teams vs. when Wilt played and there were only 8 teams.

Every team had the opportunity to amass a solid nucleus. Only the cream of the basketball world got to play then. So MJ has to be appraised in perspective. His incredible athletic ability, charisma and leadership on the court helped to make basketball popular around the world -- no question about that. But in terms of greatness, MJ has to take a backseat to The Stilt.

In terms of winning, Michael excelled as both an emotional and scoring leader but Bill Russell’s Celtics won eight consecutive NBA Championships. Bill's rebounding average per game is over 22.5 lifetime, MJs best rebounding years was eight per game (1989). But we will never know exactly how many shots Bill Russell blocked because again, they never kept that statistic while he played. However, if you ask anybody that played against Russell, they will just roll their eyes and say he blocked all the shots he wanted to block in the crucial moments of a game.

Bill played on a total of 11 championship teams and as you very well know, Scottie, the ring is the thing, and everything else is just statistics. So I would advise you to do a little homework before crowning Michael or LeBron with the title of best ever. As dominant as he is, LeBron has yet to win a championship. I must say that it looks like Miami has finally put the team together that will change that circumstance. Its my hope that today’s players get a better perspective on exactly what has been done in this league in the days of yore.

Affectionately,
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,
NBA’s All-Time Leading Scorer

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

 

 

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Wednesday , Jun , 01 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron leads Heat to 1-0 lead in NBA Finals

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Game one of the NBA Finals between the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat was exactly what we thought it would be.

It was a close defensive struggle. Dirk Nowitzki ‘got his’. So did The Big Three, who tallied 65 of Miami’s 92 points.

However, the difference was LeBron James. The much scrutinized King dominated both ends of the floor for his Heat.

Anyway, click the link, watch the highlights, and get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.  

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , May , 31 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

A Versatile King: LeBron will guard Dirk and J.J. Barea

How much does J.J. Barea concern the Heat? They're actually putting him in the same sentences as the league’s Most Valuable Player. With a straight face. “If you don’t treat him with the same type of respect as we did with Derrick Rose he can really come in and have an impact on the game,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I’m sure there will be some possessions where LeBron will be on him."

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: ‘We are all witnesses’ of LeBron James’ evolution.

Since signing with the Miami Heat, James has used his athleticism to become the world’s best defensive player.
 
For instance, he’ll spend time defending both Dirk Nowitzki and J.J. Barea when his Heat faces the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals.
 
These two couldn’t be more different. Nowitzki is a seven-footer with range; Barea is a jitterbug point guard.  And James will use his athleticism, size, and strength on both.
 
Yes, James is versatile. And yes, James is good –very, very good.
 
Love him or hate him, no player has ever possessed such versatility on defense, while dominating the other end of the floor.
 
All that remains is winning a championship. When that happens, James will start his climb up the ladder of all time greats.
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
 
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Sunday , May , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Cavaliers trying to land Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams?

According to the report, the Cavs would send their $14.5 million trade exception to the Pistons for the eighth pick and veteran shooting guard Richard Hamilton. They then would trade the fourth and eighth picks to Minnesota for the second pick. If the reported trade is executed, the Cavs would possess the top two picks -- and use them to take Duke point guard Kyrie Irving and Arizona forward Derrick Williams. The report also said the Cavs would buy out the remainder of Hamilton's $25 million contract.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Give the Cleveland Cavaliers credit.

Clearly, Dan Gilbert has instructed his front office to be active –despite the unknown status of the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement and financial environment.

Landing Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams would effectively turn the page on The Decision and the tenure of LeBron James. Two blue-chip pieces would give the Cavs hope.

Such a move would be complicated, though. As the news article states, the Detroit Pistons are changing owners, so trades are difficult.

Also, teams know the Cavs’ must use their $14.5 million trade exception before the old CBA expires on July 1st. Under the new CBA, trade exceptions may no longer be valid.

So potential trading partners will surely play hardball with the Cavs’. They have leverage and will hold out for more compensation because Gilbert’s staff are on a deadline to use the trade exception.

At least, the Cavs’ are active. Eventually, they’ll swing a deal. Then they can truly move forward.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
 

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Saturday , May , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Dwyane Wade 2006 NBA Finals

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Don’t sleep on Dwyane Wade.

Sure, LeBron James has been absolutely brilliant. But five years ago, Wade lead the Miami Heat to their first ever championship against, of course, the Dallas Mavericks.

So, what Wade shows for the NBA Finals? Will Wade play like the co-star from the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals or will he be ‘that guy’ from 2006?

It should be interesting. And it’s just one storyline worth following from this NBA Finals.

Watch the video of Wade from 2006 and get at us on ‘Flash’ in the comment box below.    

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , May , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Tracy McGrady: ‘Bron is a star. MJ Best ever’

Tracy McGrady: 'Bron is a star!. Huge potential. MJ best ever.''

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Tracy McGrady knows about being a star with 'huge potential'.

Once upon a time, he was a terrific scorer for the Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets; however, he failed to lead either team past the first round of the playoffs.

Now he’s past his prime. Injuries have taken its toll. And he’s a problem.

For instance, McGrady led a players’ revolt in Detroit last year. And the veteran laughed when Coach John Kuester was ejected. Thankfully, his career is winding down.

His call on James is accurate, though. Right now, he can’t touch Michael Jordan, the greatest player of all time. One day they may be in the same breath.

McGrady has had a mixed career, but this was one thing he got right.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , May , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Scottie Pippen: Bulls lost because of Boozer and Noah

"You can't have two of your top high-paid players sitting on the bench in the fourth quarter," Pippen said. "And that isn't just last night's game. We have seen this the whole season. So for us to think the Bulls are going to go farther when your high-priced players are not going to carry you and finish games for you ... you're not talking about a championship team.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: One day after comparing LeBron James to Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen went at Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah.

The Hall of Fame three-man blamed this duo for the Bulls loss to the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, saying that no team wins a championship with their second and third best players on the bench during the fourth quarter.

Pippen is right. However, Noah is still young and gets a partial mulligan on his uneven play.

The real issue is Boozer. Last summer, he signed a $75 million extension to be Derrick Rose’s running mate. The four-man was expected to be a second-in-command, a co-capo if you will.

Boozer has been a disappointment. Sure, he was injured for much of the season, but the real problem is that the Bulls offense revolves around Rose.

And for the Bulls to get past Miami in 2012, they need more from Boozer. Or they’ll have to find a new second star.

--Oly Sandor.
 
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
 
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Saturday , May , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Scottie Pippen: LeBron is better than Michael Jordan

Scottie Pippen suggested, on ESPN Radio’s Mike And Mike In the Morning, that LeBron James, and not his former teammate, Michael Jordan, could end up being the greatest all-around player the league has ever seen.

“Michael Jordan is probably the greatest scorer to ever play in the game, but I may go as far to say LeBron James is probably the greatest player to ever play the game,” Pippen said.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Take a deep breath. Now exhale. Repeat.

While you’re meditating please remember Scottie Pippen didn’t totally go there. He didn’t say LeBron James was better than Michael Jordan.

Pippen sure came close, though.

He said James may be a greater all-around player because of athleticism and size. And he said James can a dominate game in more ways than Jordan.

Purists will be offended. After all, Jordan has six championship rings. James has none. Jordan transcended basketball. James gave basketball a bad name with The Decision.

Still, Pippen, in theory, may have a point. James’ rare combination of size, speed, skill, and power gives him a unique advantage over any player to ever grace an NBA floor.   

When it’s all said and done, James may eventually be in the same sentence as Jordan. Not now, though.

Here’s the reality: James lacks Jordan’s will and competitiveness. Remember, Jordan overcame the Detroit Pistons’ harsh tactics; upset Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals; handled Clyde the Glyde and Rip City; twice withstood the best John Stockton and Karl Malone, two Hall of Famers, could offer; and defeated Shawn Kemp, Gary Payton, and the Seattle Sonics.

James has done nothing of the sort. Yet.

Let’s be fair: Jordan had help. It’s interesting his ‘help’ (Pippen) is so quick to deflect praise away from his former teammate and supposed friend towards others.

Maybe Pippen’s statement says more about the rivalry between him and Jordan, and less about James’ place in the game.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

The Bulls have 99 problems and the Heat is just one.
Saturday , May , 28 , 2011 J.N.

The Bulls have 99 problems and the Heat is just one.

Derrick Rose’s Chicago Bulls have been eliminated from the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals at the hands of the Wade/LeBron-Bosh Miami Heat, 4-1. Chi-Town is fighting through some pain right now, but there shouldn’t be any. At the beginning of the season, there were not many people on the Bulls’ bandwagon. The hype grew as the wins piled up. The bandwagon grew yet many were not convinced. Rose won MVP and that’s when all hell broke loose. Tom Thibodeau received Coach of the Year. Beating Indiana and Atlanta were good. However, facing Miami caused the bandwagon to break. People keep saying that getting an upgrade at the shooting guard position over Keith Bogans is all that is needed to get the Bulls over the top to win it all.

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Who Picks Up Slack For Bulls?
Thursday , May , 26 , 2011 Paul Eide

Who Picks Up Slack For Bulls?

 

Derrick Rose can’t do it by himself, especially with LeBron James guarding him. That we know. We also know that seven foot sub Omer Asik is done after breaking a bone in his leg. Carlos Boozer, after being heavily criticized for not producing much offensively at first, has finally stepped up over the last two games.
 
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Thursday , May , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron gives Thumbs Up to Lakers hiring Mike Brown

"I think the Lakers got them a great coach.” “Mike Brown was a great coach,” James said. “He gave us success that we hadn’t had before in that city. And it started with his defensive concepts. He brought in a defensive mind set that we didn’t have.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This is the ultimate co-sign.

LeBron James, perhaps the NBA’s top player, endorsed the Los Angeles Lakers hiring Mike Brown to replace Phil Jackson on the sideline.

The Lakers passed over in-house candidates and long-time assistants Chuck Person and Brian Shaw to hire Brown.

But James is right: the Lakers got a great one in Brown. These two were together with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and combined forces to get the club to the NBA Finals.

Most importantly, the former Coach of the Year is what the purple-and-gold need. Here`s why:

First, Brown made his bones as a defensive coach. He learned under Gregg Popovich with the Spurs, and refined his get-stops philosophy as the head man with the Cavaliers.

Last year, the Lakers got lazy. They stopped defending. Brown will hold them accountable in their own end.

Second, Brown has a track record for succeeding with superstars. Again, he clicked with James, so he should be able to get the most out of Kobe Bryant.

No two players are the same. And no two superstars are the same. However, precedence is on Brown`s side.

Third, a change was necessary. The Lakers had grown stale and needed a new voice from outside the organization.

The players would have been too comfortable with Shaw, which is perhaps why they were lobbying management to hire him.

Now the hard part begins. Expectations in Laker-land will be huge.

Brown is up to it, though. Just ask LeBron.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Friday , May , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Derrick Williams believes he can replace LeBron in Cleveland

"I think I'm the No. 1 pick because I have more star quality I would think," the small forward said. "I'm just a bigger person. Just trying to fill in for a big star like LeBron like they're missing. That missing piece. I think that's me."

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HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call:  Put a check next to confidence.
 
Clearly, Derrick Williams thinks highly of his talent and ability, telling reporters he can replace LeBron James as The Man for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
 
That`s right: LeBron.
 
Williams can play. No doubt about it. He possesses an enviable combination of athleticism and skill, and certainly had a banner NCAA tournament.
 
He, or Kyrie Irving, is the best player in the draft. But replace LeBron?
 
Not once have I thought Williams is the second-coming of King James. And not once have I thought he`d be the league MVP and best player in the NBA.
 
Now Williams has a problem. He must perform like a superstar or, by his own standard, he`ll be a disappointment. He also appears arrogant.
 
Here`s a question worth considering: where are 'his people' to check these comments?
 
Hopefully, Williams` agent or advisor realizes his client needs media training –and fast. There`s nothing like setting yourself up to fail before playing a single game.
 
--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Thursday , May , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Heat draw even with Bulls

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They say a playoff series doesn’t begin until the home team losses a game.

Well, the Chicago Bulls lost game two of the Eastern Conference Finals, so, suddenly, we have a series.

Tonight’s contest was a close affair; however, the Miami Heat pulled away down the stretch behind strong efforts from LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Click the link for details on the Heat evening their series against the Bulls.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Thursday , May , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

David Kahn embarrasses Timberwolves with claim lottery was rigged

NBA officials are evaluating whether to fine Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn for comments suggesting Tuesday night's draft lottery was rigged, sources told CBSSports.com.

A decision on what to do with Kahn over his latest insensitive and inapropriate public remarks could be delayed because top league executives are traveling and scattered for multiple events, including the pre-draft camp and competition committee meeting Wednesday in Chicago.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Clearly, David Kahn never learned the difference between inner and outer voice.

The inner voice is what you think but don’t say. The outer voice is what you say after you’ve thought about it. There is, essentially, a self-censor process. 
 
Now the Minnesota Timberwolves executive had every right to think something was amiss after the Cleveland Cavaliers won the draft lottery. The timing was too much.
 
One year ago, they lost their last first overall pick, LeBron James, when he signed with the Miami Heat as a free agent. It wasn’t just that he left. It’s how he left, mainly The Decision.
 
Last night seemed too convenient for the Cavaliers, especially with the owner’s son attending the event. 
 
So Kahn went with his inner voice. He forgot about the self-censor, accused the NBA of an Oliver Stone type conspiracy, and embarrassed the Timberwolves.
 
Correction: he continued to embarrass the Timberwolves. His club was again a disappointment in 2011, even with Kevin Love’s heroics on the glass.
 
Something has to give. Hopefully, owner Glen Taylor will look at who represents him and makes changes.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Thursday , May , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron on Cleveland winning lottery: ‘I think it is a good step for them’

"I'm happy for the franchise, I'm happy for the fans," he said. "I think it is a good step for them. "But I've got a lot more things to worry about now than the lottery."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: See Cleveland. LeBron James cares. Well, sort of.

Apparently, the former franchise face and prodigal son is ‘happy’ they won the lottery last night, and have the right to pick first overall in June’s draft.

James, of course, left Cleveland on poor terms last July when he ‘took his talents to South Beach’ to play for the Miami Heat.

Still, he couldn’t resist a subtle shot. James mentioned Cleveland’s draft position wasn’t his concern; he was concerned with game two of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Just another reminder James is still playing basketball, while Cleveland’s season ended, well, a few minutes after The Decision ended.

--Oly Sandor.

 Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.


 
2011 Eastern Finals – Bulls vs. Heat – Sh*t is real
Wednesday , May , 18 , 2011 J.N.

2011 Eastern Finals – Bulls vs. Heat – Sh*t is real

Game 1 is in the books. The Chicago Bulls woke up a lot of critics, 103-82. Led by Derrick Rose's 28 points and 6 assists, his performance was fine considering that he out dueled Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. Both men did not even dial in 20 points, but Chris Bosh poured in 30 points. Miami's supporting cast could not get anything going as usual. However, the talk of the night belongs to Taj Gibson's dunks. One was on Dwyane Wade. The other one, which was a nasty put back, probably destroyed a planet somewhere. Lawd have mercy, things got nasty. Heat fans and critics were shocked. Don't be. They have been doing the business all season.

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Wednesday , May , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Cleveland wins … the draft lottery

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Cleveland Cavaliers finally won.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t the championship or a playoff game. Their victory may have been because of a fourteen year old boy.

On Tuesday, owner Dan Gilbert’s teenage son was representing the Cavs’ at the NBA’s draft lottery and accepted the right to the first overall pick in June’s draft.

Hopefully, this is another step in the franchise building a new identity after losing superstar LeBron James to free agency last summer.

However, many believe this is a poor draft, so even when the Cavaliers win, they lose. 

Anyyway, the full lottery results are listed below:

1.  Cleveland (via Clippers)

2.  Minnesota

3.  Utah (via Nets)

4.  Cleveland

5.  Toronto

6.  Washington

7.  Sacramento

8.  Detroit

9.  Charlotte

10.  Milwaukee

11.  Golden State

12.  Utah

13.  Phoenix

14.  Houston

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.    
 

Battle Of The Beards; NBA Edition
Tuesday , May , 17 , 2011 Paul Eide

Battle Of The Beards; NBA Edition

 

Watching James Harden’s beard key Oklahoma City’s game seven victory over the Grizzlies made me respect it even more. As a man (barely) who couldn’t grow a beard if his life depended on it, no matter how long the time frame, I’ve developed and acute awareness of quality beards when I see them.
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Sunday , May , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Joakim Noah: Chris Bosh wasn`t serious about Bulls

The Bulls center huddled with Chris Bosh inside Chicago's Trump International Hotel and Tower over the summer without any preconceived notions. He simply wanted the guy sitting across from him at Sixteen restaurant to show a fire and passion about joining the Bulls.

Bosh didn't. "He was a nice guy and all,'' Noah said of his recruitment of Bosh during the free-agent frenzy. "But Bosh was more into, 'Well it depends on what this guy does, what that guy does.'''

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Of course, Chris Bosh wasn’t serious about the Chicago Bulls.

The fix was in. It had been for years.

Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade knew they were signing with the Miami Heat last summer. They knew this since the Beijing Olympics, where they bonded as teammates.

Free agency was a charade. James and Wade’s recent comments about coming to Chicago should be taken with a grain of salt.

If James was serious about Chicago he’d have responded to Derrick Rose’s texts, where the table-setter tried welcoming him.

He didn’t, though. James knew what he was going to do: he was `taking his talent to South Beach’.

Fair enough. This was James` right as free agent. Same with Bosh and Wade.

They could pick where they played and with who. The problem was how –as in how they, specifically Bosh and James, handled the situation.

Bottom line: this is old news. The Heat has their Three Kings. The Bulls have Rose and a superb supporting cast.

As a result, fans should get an excellent Eastern Conference Finals.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.